Naturists are claiming their unofficial bathing areas are being increasingly targeted by police “raids”, as they call on the Government to keep their promises of granting rights to minorities. The Legalise Naturist Beaches Group claimed yesterday that the police were now using binoculars from cliff tops to conduct surveillance of nudists’ favourite spots.

“Rather than moving forward we are witnessing more police raids on our unofficial beaches,” it said.

The minister said she did not want to put the swimwear industry out of business

The police did not reply to questions by the time of going to print.

In a press release, the group said it had hoped Labour would be sympathetic to its cause after the party won the March 9 election with its Malta Tagħna Lkoll (Malta for all) slogan.

The group is proposing that two legal nudist “resorts” be set up on Comino and two more on the Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq coast road, with a further two areas legalised at Għajn Tuffieħa and Ġnejna Bay.

“As a first step we would be happy if naturist resorts are set up as these would be totally secluded and easily monitored and regulated.

“Then, after two years or so, authorities would have feedback from the operation of the private resorts and can legalise the current unofficial beaches,” a spokesman said.

However, he said the group’s concerns have been repeatedly ignored by the Government.

He showed this newspaper an e-mail allegedly from Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli to her staff members on August 20, which was also sent to the nudist group.

The minister said the issue was not in Labour’s electoral manifesto and she did not wish to put the swimwear industry out of business.

Ms Dalli’s spokesman said the reference to swimwear was clearly a joke but he did not confirm whether the minister supported the campaign for legal naturist beaches by the time of writing.

Naturism currently falls foul of public decency laws.

“The current difficulty in Malta is ignorance.

“Many associate naturism with sex and think it is against the Catholic religion.

“This is totally untrue,” the naturists’ spokesman said.

He said reports to the police of lewd activities taking place at unofficial naturist spots were the result of the beaches being unregulated.

“At present, true naturists cannot take action against those who are not true naturists as naturism itself is an illegal act,” the spokesman said.

The Legalise Nudist Beaches and Topless Bathing in Malta Facebook group had almost 450 ‘likes’ as of yesterday afternoon.

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